From 1990 – 93, I served as Assistant City Manager with the City of Newnan, Georgia. Newnan is located in the southwest corner of the Atlanta metropolitan area, but maintains a distinct identity based on Ante Bellum charm.
Newnan, the City of Homes, is often described as a city with small-town charm, historic character, and friendly people. As the city continues to grow and prosper, the sense of community, uniqueness, and appeal is still alive and well.
Newnan was established as county seat of Coweta County and was named for North Carolinian General Daniel Newnan, who later became Georgia Secretary of State and a United States Congressman. Newnan quickly became a prosperous magnet for lawyers, doctors, other professionals and merchants. Much of Newnan’s prosperity was due to the thriving cotton industry, which relied on slavery. Newnan was largely untouched by the American Civil War due to its status as a hospital city for Confederate troops, and as a result still features much antebellum architecture. During the Atlanta Campaign, the Confederate cavalry badly defeated Union forces at the nearby Battle of Brown’s Mill.
Newnan was host to the trial in 1948 of wealthy landowner John Wallace, the first white man in the south to be condemned to death by the testimony of African Americans, two field hands who were made to help with burning the body of murdered white sharecropper Wilson Turner. These events were portrayed in the novel Murder in Coweta County. The film version starred Johnny Cash, Andy Griffith, and June Carter.
The growth and development of Newnan is largely attributed to the close proximity of Atlanta. Coweta County is located about 40 miles southwest of Atlanta on Interstate 85. Newnan has approximately 33,000 residents. The city’s population is projected to continue to rapidly grow over the next several years.
See a slideshow of images from Newnan below. Show in full screen for best resolution.